If you're in the market for a four-wheel drive wagon the Captiva is a good starting point. It's well priced, well specified and makes a pretty good fist of it. Sure, it's made in Korea but that doesn't seem to worry most people.
The 3.0-litre petrol V6 in our test vehicle produces 190kW of power and 288Nm of torque. It's the same engine as the smaller of the sixes in the Commodore range, even though the Captiva is built in Korea.
For $1000 more however you can have a turbo diesel engine. Despite the extra cost of buying diesel fuel, it's definitely the way to go. The V6 is hooked up to a 6 speed auto with the facility to change gears manually, but alas no change paddles.
ALL WHEEL DRIVE
With 200mm of ground clearance and no low range gearing, it's not going to get you too far off road. But all wheel drive is beneficial in the dirt and slippery conditions like mud and snow. Having said that, for most of the time it remains front drive.
It's only when the system detects a loss of traction that it starts to send power to the rear wheels up to 50 per cent. This all takes place within 100 milliseconds. It also has a space saver spare and can tow up to 1700kg.
Fuel consumption is officially rated at 10.1 litres/100km for the V6, giving it a theoretical range of 644km. The fact that it remains front wheel drive most of the time helps to reduce consumption because it doesn't have to work as hard. Using E10 we were getting 10.5 litres/100km, with a total of 514km from a single tank.
Scores a maximum five-star safety rating, with six airbags and electronic stability control, active rollover protection and self-levelling rear suspension.
We like the size, comfort and ease of operation. It looks pretty good too. It's not too big and not too small with a third row of seats that pack flat into the floor when not needed. With the third row not in use boot space is generous.
Rear parking sensors are standard, Bluetooth is also standard to connect your mobile, but there's no indicator to confirm it’s connected. Scheduled servicing is every 15000km or six months, whichever comes first.
WE DON'T LIKE
None of the steering wheel mounted controls are backlit for night operation and only the drive's door window controls are lit. It might sound like a minor thing but try turning on and engaging cruise control in the dark. By the way you have to hit the cruise button twice before it is activated and cruiser will engage. The electric parking brake is more of a hindrance than help. Needs a second power outlet in the front console.
An all rounder. Does nothing particularly well, but nothing badly at the same time either. Our test vehicle the CX is priced from $38,490 before onroads. Its competitors are all more expensive. Like we said though you'd be better off spending another $1000 on the diesel which will deliver better economy.
Holden Captiva 7
Price: from $42,490
Warranty: 100,00km, 3 years
Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cylinder, 190kW/288Nm
Transmission: 6-speed sports automatic, 4X4 on demand
Thirst: 10.1L/100Km, 241CO2 emissions